Top Dem: ‘Staggering’ that Boehner wants to wait on ISIS vote

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Friday it was “staggering” to hear Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) say he wants to wait until next year to debate authorization of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

“I think that’s a terrible abdication of our responsibility,” Schiff said on MSNBC. “And it will affect not only this war effort … but it will also send a signal to future administrations that they can go to war without the Congress.”

{mosads}Schiff, a top member of the House Intelligence Committee, has introduced legislation authorizing the use of force against ISIS. He had opposed adjourning the House until after the midterm elections and has called on Boehner to bring Congress back into session to debate authorization. 

“And, you know, the British have a great deal to be proud of,” he said. “The debate they’re having over the war, that’s exactly the debate we need to be having here at home.”

He added: “It’s still my hope we can do that, but the Speaker’s comments yesterday threw a lot of cold water on that idea.”

Boehner said debating authorization in the lame-duck session is not the “right way to handle this.” He has said Congress should speak on the issue, but President Obama should offer the authorization language. 

The administration maintains it has legal authority to carry out its current air campaign in Iraq and Syria based on prior military force authorizations from a decade ago that is still in effect. 

The administration has said it welcomes a vote in Congress. 

“We’ve been clear that we’d be happy to have Congress support this effort,” White House Communications Director Jen Palmieri said Friday.

Tags Adam Schiff John Boehner military authorization

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